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Kosova Communication # 260

From: kosova@gn.apc.org (Kosova Information Centre)

Kosovo News Directory

Kosova Communication

Bulletin of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Kosova

5th year, No. 260 , 15 April 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] Austrian Foreign Minister on Belgrade relations

  • [02] Recognition may aggravate Kosova situation

  • [03] Albanian Officials Discuss Kosova with Leni Fischer

  • [04] Kosova settlement - key to stability

  • [05] Kosova financial documents destroyed

  • [06] Serb Authorities Initiate Proceedings Against Albanian Weekly 'Koha'

  • [07] Assassin Asanin released

  • [08] Albanians treated as a second class citizens

  • [09] Charged for use of Prishtina University Diploma

  • [10] In aid of ethnic cleansing - Serbian repression during march

  • [11] Changes of names


  • [01] Austrian Foreign Minister on Belgrade relations

    Vienna, 12 April - The President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, was today received by the Austrian Foreign Minister, Mr. Wolfgang Schussel. President Rugova described the situation in Kosova stating that the people of Kosova had opted for independence. An Independent and neutral Kosova is an optimal solution concluded Rugova. Mr. Schussel stated that his country was very much concerned about the situation in Kosova and although Austria may follow the other European countries and normalise relations with Belgrade, there cannot be quality relations without a solution to the i sue of Kosova.

    [02] Recognition may aggravate Kosova situation

    Prishtina, 10 April - In an interview given to the BBC Albanian Section, commenting on the mutual recognition of rump Yugoslavia and FYROM, Dr. Bujar Bukoshi, Kosova Prime Minister, stated that a deal without the presence of the Albanian factor can onl be considered as partially successful and pragmatic. Asked about the German standing that this eliminates the last obstacle for recognition of the "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (Serbia and Montenegro), Dr. Bukoshi replied that Germany had not made any major shift in its policy on former Yugoslavia or the issue of Kosova. Bukoshi stated he did not agree that by this action the last obstacle for the international recognition of Belgrade had been removed.

    The mutual recognition between Belgrade and Shkup/Skopje [FYROM] does not mean finished business in the former Yugoslavia. There are many other outstanding issues, including "the very complex issue of Kosova", Dr. Bukoshi emphasised adding that he believed that the issue of Kosova was one of the largest obstacles for the international recognition of Serbia and Montenegro. The situation in Kosova could be aggravated further if the self-proclaimed Yugoslavia is recognised by the world now, concluded Dr. Bukoshi.

    [03] Albanian Officials Discuss Kosova with Leni Fischer

    Ms Leni Fischer, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council has recently been to Albania on an official trip. She met with Albania's President Sali Berisha and top officials of the Albanian Government and Foreign Ministry. In a meeting with the Albanian Foreign Minister, Alfred Serreqi, Ms. Leni Fischer stated she was well aware of the situation in Kosova, and vowed that the Kosova problem would be more seriously addressed in forthcoming debates of the Council of Europe. All efforts should be made to set up a dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina stated Ms Fischer. Prior to the meeting with Ambassadors of the EU countries in Albania, Leni Fischer stated that in the aftermath of the Dayton Accords and its implementation, a genuine and lasting peace in Kosova should be pursued.

    [04] Kosova settlement - key to stability

    New York, 8 April (Kosova InfoFAX) - In a report issued today by the New York based Council on foreign Relations, the organisation's Center for Preventive Action said, "Long-term stability in the South Balkans requires a stable, independent Macedonia" which can only be stabilised "if there is a settlement over the status ... of Kosova". The report said, "A settlement of the final status of Kosova is not possible in the short run, but the U.S. and Europe should support a set of confidence-building measures designed to relieve tension." The Center recommended appointment of a U.S. special envoy, reopening the OSCE mission, establishing humanitarian centers in Kosova, maintaining the "outer wall" sanctions until significant progress is made, and dialogue between the two sides.

    [05] Kosova financial documents destroyed

    Prishtina, 10 April - During the past two days Serbian authorities have been removing financial records and other documentation from the National Bank of Kosova. The paperwork has been taken to the Lipjan Paper Mills for recycling. The move by the Serbian management is seen to be aimed at destroying traces of the activities of this important banking institution of Kosova, now that the succession of former Yugoslavia will be top of the international agenda which involve the distri ution of debts and assets frozen in international banks. .

    [06] Serb Authorities Initiate Proceedings Against Albanian Weekly 'Koha'

    Prishtina, 8 April - On 6 April, six Serbian policemen brought to a halt the printing of the latest issue of the Albanian language weekly "Koha", by shutting down the printing house where "Koha" is printed . Police stated that the issue could not be printed unless all articles and editorial material included in the issue were handed over to them. Veton Surroi, editor of "Koha", issued the following statement:

    "We have been informed, indirectly via the TANJUG news agency, that the Serb-run district public prosecutor in Prishtina has ordered the Serbian police to investigate all facts in connection with some photos due to appear in the latest issue of the Albanian-language weekly 'Koha'. The prosecutor's office is of the belief that the pictures 'grossly ridicule the personality of the Serbian President, Slobodan Milosevic.

    The picture shows Milosevic with a group of Nazi soldiers, whereas another one portrays the Serbian military marching in 1989 in Kosova and is called 'Anschluss i vitit 1989' (the Anschluss of 1989).

    The Serbian run district public prosecutor denies the reports, published in several Albanian papers, that police had confiscated unsold issues of 'Koha". The Serbian public prosecutor has not informed us of anything, although yesterday our 'movements were shadowed more than usual'.

    Serbian police called in for questioning Lutfi Zhilivoda, director of the 'Phoenix' printing house in Prishtina which prints the Koha weekly. He was ordered not to print the last issue of the weekly until a permission had been obtained by the Serb-run District public Prosecutor's Office. We will not ask for such a permission" "Regarding the TANJUG allegations I would like to point out that we did not intend to ridicule Serbian President Milosevic, but rather to satirically convey "the Anschluss of 1989 and the doctrine which stands behind it". I am fully content with the published satirical pictures . I consider the procedure instigated by the District Public Prosecutor as a way of admitting the reality of 1989 Anschluss and a way to diminish the reality."

    [07] Assassin Asanin released

    Prishtina, 10 April - The Serbian press reports that Serbian outlaw Darko Asanin was released from prison because of "inconclusive evidence". His release was based on a decision signed by the investigating judge Dobrivoje Gersimovic. Asanin last summer was arrested in Greece in line with an Interpol arrest warrant. He stood accused of in 1990 in Brussels murdering the Albanian activist Enver Hadri. Due to be extradited to Belgium a last minute change of heart by the Greek Minister of Justice led to has eventually being handed over to Serbian authorities.

    Asanin was detained in Belgrade District Prison at the request of Belgian authorities pending further investigations by the Belgrade authorities. According to the Belgrade press, Belgium failed to provide evidence against Asanin by the April 8th deadline, by which Asanin could no longer be detained. Judge Gerasimovic had to release him. Asanian is has committed other murders and committed many other crimes and is said to have close links with the Serbian secret service. The possiblity of Asanin being bought to justice appears to have just been an illusion.

    [08] Albanians treated as a second class citizens

    Ulqin, 8 April - The Albanian Democratic Union issued a statement which states that Albanians in Montenegro are treated as second class citizens. The ADU condemns the denial of the rights of Albanians to be represented in governing bodies as well as the denial of their right to education, as well as recent acts of vandalism such as the desecration of Albanian grave stones etc.

    [09] Charged for use of Prishtina University Diploma

    Ulqin, 8 April - Ms Sanije Vucetaj, an Albanian from Plava (Montenegro), is to face criminal charges for having applied for a job with a diploma issued by the Albanian langauge University of Prishtina. Ms Vucetaj is to be charged with having applied for a job with "forged and illegal documentation", referring to the diploma of the University of Prishtina. Last March, two Albanians from Montenegro, Xhevat Ulaj and Ahmet Gjonbalaj, were likewise sentenced to prison terms by the Montenegrin authorities under the same charges.

    [10] In aid of ethnic cleansing - Serbian repression during march

    Prishtina 4 April - The Prishtina based Council for the Defence of Human Rights And Freedoms issued a report on human rights violations in Kosova during March 1996. The report says the violence exercised by police against Albanians for alleged weapons offences has increased. The same pretext was used for about 90% of house raids undertaken by police. Another form of the violation of the human rights of Albanians in Kosova was state organised robbery. This aim is aimed at denying Albanians any means to provide for their families, at a time when unemployment has reached a peak. The Serbian regime is also doing its utmost to destroy Albanian national heritage.

    According to yet uncompleted data, during March 839 Albanians, including 59 women and 65 children were ill-treated, one subsequently dying. Some of the forms of repression were arrests (226), arbitrary checks (63), searches (196), torture (123), causing of bodily injures (7), psychical ill-treatment (614), ill-treatment under the pretext of weapons offences (428), summons for "informative talks" (428); summons to report to the police stations (151); passport seizures(26); police intervention in educational institutions (2), maltreatment of teachers (26), political activists (37); taking of civilian hostages (11), threats (1190, verbal offences on national basis (105), kidnap attempts (3), evictions from flats (2), plundering (47).

    [11] Changes of names

    The Serbian-installed authorities in Ferizaj have now changed all the names of streets and institutions in town having replaced existing street names in Albanian with new Serbian ones. Some of the streets and institutions have been named after Serbian national heroes and nationalists, many of whom are notorious for their anti-Albanian policy. The report says that there are 113 streets in Ferizaj, all but one now bearing Serbian names. The Serbian administration is also trying to force the Albanians to use the Serbian name for the town [Urosevac]. The name of the town has historically been Ferizaj, and was renamed Urosevac following the arrival of Serbs to the town. Serbian authorities changed the names of all cultural and sports institutions as well.

    In 1994 the Serbian-installed authorities demolished the bust of the distinguished Albanian writer, Hivzi Sylejmani, who had also served as a noted judge in Kosova following the Second World War. The authorities installed a new 'face' in front of the central library in town, whose name carries the library too. Sources in Ferizaj state that the Serbian authorities who run the library have over the past five years burned and destroyed considerable quantities of materials from the archives of the librar and a great number of books. Over 95 per cent of the population of the municipality is ethnic Albanian.

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